A short biography of my aviation life.
After an industrial career, involving precision engineering and material sciences, I was recruited by Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service to become their first – and only – Assistant Keeper, Aviation. Based on the Museum of Technology, Leicester, this involved responsibilities for the Whittle engine collection, Reid & Sigrist Archive and parts of the Taylorcraft/Auster Collection. G-AGOH, the 1945 Leicester-owned Auster Autocrat, which had been a former Brough engine test-bed, was also in use as staff transport and archaeological survey aircraft.
After a time, I moved to East Midlands International Airport as Curator, EMIA ‘Aeropark’. I planned the 12 acre site, which was at that time to the south of the main runway, and was responsible for both the curation and design of the main displays. The aircraft collection was rapidly expanded, and a unique British prototype, the Britten Sherriff light twin, was saved from the scrapyard and preserved. Airport Open Days with vintage aircraft flying displays were held, along with massively popular Concorde charters. For my work at the EMIA ‘Aeropark’, I won the national award for services to air education, given by the Air Education & Recreation Organisation.
My next position was with the National Museum of Science and Industry where I was appointed to manage Wroughton Airfield, the home of the National Air Transport Collection. This site, and its aircraft, vehicle and agricultural collections had been almost closed to the public, but it was quickly brought it back to life, giving access to the wonderful collection of airliners and other aircraft held there. Major aviation events were held, including the PFA Rally, Great Warbirds Air Display, World Helicopter Championships, and the Science Museum’s own series of events.
Following my time at Wroughton, my career took on a Service aspect, as Iwas appointed Deputy Air Show Co-ordinator, RAF Finningley. Working out of the Battle of Britain Air Show Office at Finningley, I was responsible for many facets of the largest official RAF show. As well as increasing commercial involvement, the international content of the displays and the vintage flying element expanded. It is often thought that the last displays at Finningley (before its closure) were amongst the very best.
Following Finningley’s closure, the Air Show Office was moved across to RAF Waddington, where I was involved in the planning for the first Waddington display.
A move to Farnborough followed, where I took up a position as Flying Services Manager for the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC).
I have been a member of the Executive Committee of the British Aircraft Preservation Council, a member of the National Committee of the Air Education & Recreation Organisation, and a member of both the Technical and General Aviation Committees of the UK Airport Operator’s Association, as well as receiving several awards for services to aircraft preservation, I am a published photographer.
Now in semi-retirement in New England, I was appointed the Director of Engineering for The People's Mosquito, a UK Registered Charity devoted to restoring a De Havilland Mosquito and flying it in British skies. The work will be undertaken by Retrotec Ltd, the world-renowned aircraft restoration experts.
I am a Member of The New England Aero Club (founded 1902), the oldest aero club in the Americas.
Please consider making a donation to my favourite charity - The People's Mosquito !